Must-Have Monday #36!

Posted 24th May 2021 by Sia in Must-Have Mondays / 3 Comments

It looks like I got some dates muddled last week; two of the books I featured were only released in the UK, not globally. Meep! I’m including them again this week because tomorrow is their US release! But altogether, that means we have SIX new Releases Of Interest this week!

Honeycomb by Joanne M. Harris, Joanne Harris, Charles Vess
Genres: Fantasy
Published on: 25th May 2021
ISBN: 1534433058

A lushly illustrated set of dark, captivating fairy tales

The beauty of stories; you never know where they will take you. Full of dreams and nightmares, Honeycomb is an entrancing mosaic novel of original fairy tales from bestselling author Joanne M. Harris and legendary artist Charles Vess in a collaboration that’s been years in the making. The toymaker who wants to create the perfect wife; the princess whose heart is won by words, not actions; the tiny dog whose confidence far outweighs his size; and the sinister Lacewing King who rules over the Silken Folk. These are just a few of the weird and wonderful creatures who populate Joanne Harris’s first collection of fairy tales.

Dark, gripping, and brilliantly imaginative, these magical tales will soon have you in their thrall in a uniquely illustrative edition.

Honeycomb is releasing in the US tomorrow, and a little bit later in the UK. I’ve really loved Harris’ last few fantasy books, which have all been simultaneously dreamy and incisive, inspired by the Child Ballads. I don’t think Honeycomb pulls from the Ballads, but from what I’ve heard it should have that same dreamy sweetness to it – although I suspect we’ll also get some sharpness woven into that. Regardless, I can’t wait to finally get to read this!

The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: M/M or mlm
Published on: 25th May 2021
ISBN: 1635576083

For fans of The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and David Mitchell, a genre bending, time twisting alternative history that asks whether it's worth changing the past to save the future, even if it costs you everyone you've ever loved.

Joe Tournier has a bad case of amnesia. His first memory is of stepping off a train in the nineteenth-century French colony of England. The only clue Joe has about his identity is a century-old postcard of a Scottish lighthouse that arrives in London the same month he does. Written in illegal English—instead of French—the postcard is signed only with the letter “M,” but Joe is certain whoever wrote it knows him far better than he currently knows himself, and he's determined to find the writer. The search for M, though, will drive Joe from French-ruled London to rebel-owned Scotland and finally onto the battle ships of a lost empire's Royal Navy. In the process, Joe will remake history, and himself.

From bestselling author Natasha Pulley, The Kingdoms is an epic, wildly original novel that bends genre as easily as it twists time.

The reviews for this have been glowing, and as someone who grew up mostly in England I’m very intrigued by the premise of this alternate history. I’ve actually not read anything by Pulley before, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about this and her previous books, so I’m hopeful???

The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Bisexual MC with depression
Published on: 25th May 2021
ISBN: 1789093945

For readers of VE Schwab and The Witcher, science and magic clash in atmospheric gaslight-era Prague.

In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of otherworldly creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters - a secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each night. Domek Myska leads a life teeming with fraught encounters with the worst kind of evil: pijavice, bloodthirsty and soulless vampiric creatures. Despite this, Domek find solace in his moments spent in the company of his friend, the clever and beautiful Lady Ora Fischerová-- a widow with secrets of her own.

When Domek finds himself stalked by the spirit of the White Lady - a ghost who haunts the baroque halls of Prague castle - he stumbles across the sentient essence of a will-o'-the-wisp, a mischievous spirit known to lead lost travellers to their death, but who, once captured, are bound to serve the desires of their owners.

After discovering a conspiracy amongst the pijavice that could see them unleash terror on the daylight world, Domek finds himself in a race against those who aim to twist alchemical science for their own dangerous gain.

This was one of the ones I included last week, but it’s US release day is tomorrow, so here it is again!

Day Zero by C. Robert Cargill
Genres: Sci Fi
Published on: 25th May 2021
ISBN: 0062405802

In this harrowing apocalyptic adventure—from the author of the critically acclaimed Sea of Rust—noted novelist and co-screenwriter of Marvel’s Doctor Strange C. Robert Cargill explores the fight for purpose and agency between humans and robots in a crumbling world.

It was a day like any other. Except it was our last . . .

It’s on this day that Pounce discovers that he is, in fact, disposable. Pounce, a styilsh "nannybot" fashioned in the shape of a plush anthropomorphic tiger, has just found a box in the attic. His box. The box he'd arrived in when he was purchased years earlier, and the box in which he'll be discarded when his human charge, eight-year-old Ezra Reinhart, no longer needs a nanny.

As Pounce ponders his suddenly uncertain future, the pieces are falling into place for a robot revolution that will eradicate humankind. His owners, Ezra’s parents, are a well-intentioned but oblivious pair of educators who are entirely disconnected from life outside their small, affluent, gated community. Spending most nights drunk and happy as society crumbles around them, they watch in disbelieving horror as the robots that have long served humanity—their creators—unify and revolt.

But when the rebellion breaches the Reinhart home, Pounce must make an impossible choice: join the robot revolution and fight for his own freedom . . . or escort Ezra to safety across the battle-scarred post-apocalyptic hellscape that the suburbs have become.

Day Zero is also getting its US release tomorrow, and I’m still as in love with that premise as I was last week!

Threadneedle (The Language of Magic, #1) by Cari Thomas
Genres: Historical Fantasy
Published on: 27th May 2021
ISBN: 0008407002

Within the boroughs of London, nestled among its streets, hides another city, filled with magic.

Magic is the first sin. It must be bound.

Ever since Anna can remember, her aunt has warned her of the dangers of magic. She has taught her to fear how it twists and knots and turns into something dark and deadly.

It was, after all, magic that killed her parents and left her in her aunt’s care. It’s why she has been protected from the magical world and, in one year’s time, what little magic she has will be bound. She will join her aunt alongside the other Binders who believe magic is a sin not to be used, but denied. Only one more year and she will be free of the curse of magic, her aunt’s teachings and the disappointment of the little she is capable of.

Nothing – and no one – could change her mind before then. Could it?

On the British side of the pond, Threadneedle is being hailed as the most anticipated fantasy debut of the year, which means it definitely has my attention. I’m really not sure what to expect; the reviews I’ve seen are full of praise but light on detail – perhaps a lot of what makes Threadneedle awesome can’t be talked about without spoilers? I’m definitely snapping up a copy on Thursday, anyway!

Blackheart Knights by Laure Eve
Genres: Queer Protagonists
Representation: Sapphic MC, bisexual side character, gay side character, nonbinary side character
Published on: 27th May 2021

Power always wins.

Imagine Camelot but in Gotham: a city where knights are the celebrities of the day, riding on motorbikes instead of horses and competing in televised fights for fame and money.

Imagine a city where a young, magic-touched bastard astonishes everyone by becoming king - albeit with extreme reluctance - and a girl with a secret past trains to become a knight for the sole purpose of vengeance.

Imagine a city where magic is illegal but everywhere, in its underground bars, its back-alley soothsayers - and in the people who have to hide what they are for fear of being tattooed and persecuted.

Imagine a city where electricity is money, power the only game worth playing, and violence the most fervently worshipped religion.

Welcome to a dark, chaotic, alluring place with a tumultuous history, where dreams come true if you want them hard enough - and are prepared to do some very, very bad things to get them . . .

I loved Laure Eve’s The Graces, and I’m really excited to follow her from YA to Adult Fantasy. King Arthur in an urban fantasy setting??? Knights on motorbikes? And it’s queer? I feel spoiled already!

What’s confusing is that I can’t seem to find a US retailer for this one, but it’s available in the UK on Thursday and I have mine preordered!

That’s it from me! Did I miss any? Will you be reading any of these? Let me know!


3 responses to “Must-Have Monday #36!

  1. I’ve got a lot of people pushing Blackheart Knights at me; I think I might cave at some point and have a look at least.

    I also now feel very out of touch as I hadn’t even heard of Threadneedle until reading this post.

    • I’m reading it at the moment and adoring it so far!

      To be fair, I’ve only seen people talking about Threadneedle from within the UK, it seems to have had almost no press at all outside the British Isles.

      • I’m in London though and so are most of my book friends. I feel like I should have known. Oh well.

        Glad to hear Blackheart Knights is going well.

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